Definitions

Columbus Globe

Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders

The Columbus Globe for State and Industry Leaders (also known as Hitler's Globe or the Fuhrer Globe) was a globe designed specifically for various Nazi leaders, including German-Austrian Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Two editions of the globe exist, the latter with Ethiopia replaced with Italian East Africa.

Origin

Two editions of the globe were commissioned by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, though the actual number of globes produced will never be verified as the factory that manufactured the globe, the Columbus factory, was destroyed in 1943 along with its archives.

The globe was described as very large and very costly, with a wood base supporting it. However, despite its iconic status, Hitler personally never thought much of it. He never included it in any of his official pictures.

Whereabouts

Numerous globes claiming to have been owned by Hitler exist throughout the world, although the authenticity of many of them is doubtful. There are three in Berlin: one at a geographical institute, another at the Märkisches Museum, and the third at the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Another two reside in public collections at Munich. Many of the globes show Germany with a bullet hole or simply wiped out, an act committed out of contempt by either Soviet or American soldiers. Based on photographic evidence, none of these globes, however, are from Hitler's office in the New Reich Chancellery, the one most iconic and the one that inspired Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940).

In May, 1945 one globe allegedly owned by Hitler, and possibly the Columbus globe, albeit smaller, was found by an American soldier among the ruins of Hitler's "Eagle's Nest", a command complex near the Bavarian Alps. The complex had been nearly completely looted by the time the soldier arrived; save for one globe sitting on what he assumed was the dictator's desk. After signing the required papers the soldier, John Barsamia, took the globe home and kept it for sixty years before selling it at an auction in San Francisco. Bob Pritikin, an entrepreneur from San Francisco, bought the globe at $100,000, five times the original estimated price of $20,000.

Legacy

The globe is iconic as a representation of Adolf Hitler's megalomania. Charlie Chaplin's satirical film The Great Dictator (1940) parodied the globe in an iconic scene where the globe is portrayed as a beachball that bursts in front of the dictator's face.

Notes and references

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